In a veiled swipe at leading Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar says people speaking against the country must be taught a lesson, like an “actor” and an “online trading company” have been taught. Indian Express reports that the minister didn’t take any names. However, the target of his swipe was clear. Aamir got himself involved in a controversy last year in November when he spoke about a “sense of insecurity” emanating from rising intolerance in the country. Speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Awards, Aamir had also said that his wife, Kiran Rao, had apprehensions about the future of their child in the country.
Some months later, e-commerce company Snapdeal refused to renew its brand ambassador Aaamir’s contract after facing backlash of trolls on social media and also reported loss in sales. “I am only trying to point out… if anyone speaks like this, he has to be taught a lesson of his life,” Indian Express quoted the minister as saying during the launch of Marathi edition of a book by journalist Nitin Gokhale.
“…There is a sense of fear more than there was earlier. I do feel there is a sense of insecurity. When I sit at home and talk to (wife) Kiran. Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet. Growing sense of despondency. You feel depressed, you feel low… why is it happening? This feeling exists in me too,” Aamir had said at the awards ceremony.
While different sections of people in the country are debating the alleged used of “disproportionate force” against protesters in Jammu and Kashmir, Parrikar supported the use of “full power” in dealing with insurgency. “I do not want to train the Army to use the lathi,” the Indian Express quoted him as saying. “Where to use the Army is a civilian decision. However, whenever the Army is used, full power has to be there, otherwise do not use the Army,” the minister added.